The 2018 spring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Kentucky Wildcats.
No. 48: Kentucky Wildcats
Spring Practice Starts: March 5
Spring Game: April 13
Kentucky Wildcats Spring Status
Even with the rough finishing kick – losing four of their last five games, including the Music City Bowl to Northwestern – it was an okay year with the program’s second straight 7-6 season.
With the lines returning, and with a great secondary, there’s a lot to like about the 2018 Wildcats. The skills players need to rise up, and the quarterback situation has to be solidified, but there’s speed, experience, and enough good players to at least expect another bowl trip.
In an improved East, though, it’ll be tough to do much more than hit the seven-win mark. This offseason has to find more pop to the offense, but the defense might just be good enough to pick up the slack early in the season.
Kentucky Biggest Depth Chart Battle
Quarterback. Stephen Johnson was just okay last season, but he was a decent, experienced veteran who added a bit to the ground game. And now he has to be replaced. This would’ve been Drew Barker’s gig, but he chose to transfer.
Oregon transfer Terry Wilson is the exact type of dual-threat option who fits what the Cats need, but Gunnar Hoak is a talent who had his moments in practice, but hasn’t been able to break through. Walker Wood – if healthy – could be the wild card, and redshirt freshman Danny Clark is getting his chance.
Kentucky Biggest Issue
The secondary has to be better. There’s a lot to like about the defensive backs with the four main ones returning – led by safeties Mike Edwards and Darius West – but this group has to be better.
The stats were great late in the year, but that’s because Georgia and Louisville spent so much time running, and Clayton Thorson got hurt for Northwestern. Before those three games, UK allowed 200 yards or more in nine of the previous ten games.
Kentucky Biggest Positive
The running backs should be great. Benny Snell – horrible break in the bowl game aside – is back after tearing off 1,333 yards and 19 scores, and his backup, Sihiem King, is back, too. All of the key running backs return, working behind a line with four starters back.
Really, Why Are The Kentucky Wildcats Ranked Here?
It might be a bit of a fight to get to seven wins again with the turnover at receiver, and hoping for Wilson to be fantastic at quarterback, but the defense should be stronger, and Snell is one of the SEC’s best backs. There’s enough to get bowling again, but challenge in the East? That’s asking for too much.